Ecology/Conservation
Protecting the Earth for future generations takes first learning about our planet, the environment, and how the ecosystem works. Get ecology teaching tips, project ideas, and more.
Things to See & Do in North Carolina
North Carolina Zoological Park
Located in Asheboro, the North Carolina Zoological Park, with more than 500 acres in its African and North American continental regions, is the country's largest walk-through natural habitat zoo, in which the animals and plants in its exhibits are seen in settings that closely resemble the habitats in which they would live in the wild. Its 37-acre African Plains exhibit alone is as large as many entire zoos. Sited on hilly, wooded terrain in the ancient Uwharrie Mountains of central North Carolina, the Zoo has approximately five miles of trails in its two continental regions. Among the Zoo's more popular animal attractions are its polar bears, seals, sea lions, seabirds, river otters, bison, elk, alligators, elephants, rhinoceros, chimpanzees, baboons, gorillas, giraffes, zebras, ostriches and tropical birds. There are dozens of other species as well.
North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island
The North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island, near the historic town of Manteo and the scenic Outer Banks, is situated on 14 acres of property overlooking the Croatan Sound. The 68,000-square-foot building houses aquariums ranging from 300 gallons to 285,00 gallons, two touch tanks, interactive exhibits, classrooms, meeting rooms, research space, a large auditorium and a gift shop.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Ridge upon ridge of endless forest straddling the border between North Carolina and Tennessee, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the largest protected areas in the Eastern United States. World renowned for the diversity of its plant and animal life, the beauty of its ancient mountains, the quality of its remnants of Southern Appalachian mountain culture, and the depth and integrity of its wilderness sanctuary, the park attracts over nine million visitors each year. Once a part of the Cherokee homeland, the Smokies today are a hiker's paradise with over 800 miles of trails.
North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores
Located in Atlantic Beach, the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores is situated on 298 acres of maritime forest in the Theodore Roosevelt Natural Area. The 35,000-square-foot building houses aquariums ranging from 300 gallons to 12,000 gallons, a touch tank, interactive exhibits, classrooms, meeting rooms, a large auditorium and a gift shop. Outside is a natural marsh area and nature trail.
Appalachian National Scenic Trail
The Appalachian National Scenic Trail is a 2,180-mile footpath along the ridgecrests and across the major valleys of the Appalachian Mountains from Katahdin in Maine to Springer Mountain in northern Georgia. It traverses the scenic, wooded, pastoral, wild, and culturally resonant lands of the Appalachian Mountains. Conceived in 1921, it was built by private citizens and completed in 1937. The trail traverses Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina and Georgia.
Western North Carolina Nature Center
The WNC Nature Center, located in beautiful Asheville, North Carolina, is an educational center exhibiting plants and animals native to the Southern Appalachian Region, including Cougars, Bobcats, Red and Grey Wolves, Black Bear, Otters and more to Pygmy Goats, Red Devon Steer, Chickens and Sheep.
Cape Hatteras National Seashore
Stretched over 70 miles of barrier islands, Cape Hatteras National Seashore is a fascinating combination of natural and cultural resources, and provides a wide variety of recreational opportunities. Once dubbed the "Graveyard of the Atlantic" for its treacherous currents, shoals, and storms, Cape Hatteras has a wealth of history relating to shipwrecks, lighthouses, and the U.S. Lifesaving Service. These dynamic islands provide a variety of habitats and are a valuable wintering area for migrating waterfowl. The park's fishing and surfing are considered the best on the east coast.
North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher
The North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher takes visitors on a journey from freshwater rivers and swamps to saltwater marshes and estuaries and into reefs and the open ocean. The 84,000 square foot facility includes a large ocean tank offering two-story, multi-level viewing of large sharks, groupers, barracudas, and loggerhead turtles and a 20,000 freshwater conservatory showcasing the varied ecosystems of the Cape Fear River.
Cape Lookout National Seashore
The seashore is a 56 mile long section of the Outer Banks of North Carolina running from Ocracoke Inlet on the northeast to Beaufort Inlet on the southeast. The three undeveloped barrier islands which make up the seashore, North Core Banks, South Core Banks and Shackleford Banks, protect one of the few remaining natural coastal barrier island systems in the world. Its native grasslands comprise the only remaining natural grasslands in the eastern United States. Small populations of the endangered sea beach amaranth grow within the national seashore. Here, also, marks the northernmost edge of the range of the Loggerhead Turtle, a marine turtle on the Federal List of Threatened and Endangered Species. The national seashore also provides one of the southernmost habitats for the federally listed piping plover. Other endangered species that visit Cape Lookout National Seashore include Roseate Terns, Peregrine Falcons, and Bald Eagles. Also, more than 100 wild horses roam Shackleford Banks island.
Activities & Experiments
Arbor Day National Poster Contest
Join over 74,000 fifth grade classrooms and home schools across America in the Arbor Day National Poster Contest. The theme chosen will increase your students’ knowledge of how trees produce and conserve energy. The free Activity Guide includes activities to use with fifth grade students to teach the importance of trees in producing and conserving energy. These activities correlate with National Science and Social Study Standards. The Guide also includes all of the information you need for poster contest participation.
Handbook of Nature Study
Based on Charlotte Mason's method of education, this website offers ideas and resources for incorporation nature study into your homeschool.
ExploraVision
ExploraVision is a competition for all students in grades K-12 attending a school in the U.S., Canada, U.S. Territory or a Department of Defense school. Homeschooled students are eligible to enter. It is designed to encourage students to combine their imagination with their knowledge of science and technology to explore visions of the future. Teams of students select a technology, research how it works and why it was invented, and then project how that technology may change in the future. They must then identify what breakthroughs are required for their vision to become a reality and describe the positive and negative consequences of their technology on society. Winning ideas have focused on things as simple as ballpoint pens and as complex as satellite communications. The student teams write a paper and draw a series of Web page graphics to describe their idea. Regional winners make a Web site and a prototype of their future vision.
How I Teach a Large Family in a Relaxed, Classical Way: Science
Family style learning is a great way to tackle lots of different subjects, including science.
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Featured Resources

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Minds More Awake: The Vison of Charlotte Mason
Anne E. White explores what is known as the Charlotte Mason, based on the educational philosophy of the 19th century British educator. The goal is to set a child on the path to an intentional, purposeful life. White explores both the practical and philosophical understanding the Mason's practices. White includes lots of examples of how to use these ideas in your own homeschooling. 
Critical Thinking: Reading, Thinking, and Reasoning Skills
Based on Bloom's Taxonomy of Educational Objectives, Critical Thinking will allow students to garner more knowledge from new information by knowing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating. A brief review in each unit provides frequent indications of student mastery. This series is written for grade levels 1-6.
How to Drive: Real World Instruction and Advice from Hollywood's Top Driver
Want your child to be the best--and safest--driver possible? This book is for you! Ben Collins is a professional driver and is a former Top Gear Stig driver. He offers strategies for increasing control and safety and to encourage fun and efficient driving for all skill levels. 
Montessori Method
This book is Montessori's own exposition of the theory behind her innovative educational techniques. She shows parents, teachers and administrators how to "free a child to learn through his own efforts".
The Ultimate Book of Homeschooling Ideas: 500+ Fun and Creative Learning Activities for Kids Ages 3-12
Fun and Effective Home Learning Activities for Every SubjectAs a homeschooling parent, you're always looking for new and creative ways to teach your child the basics. Look no longer! Inside this innovative helper, you'll find kid-tested and parent-approved techniques for learning math, science, writing, history, manners, and more that you can easily adapt to your family's homeschooling needs. And even if you don't homeschool, you'll find this book a great teaching tool outside the classroom. You...